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The Australian Law Reform Commission Report on  Copyright and the Digital Economy has been tabled in the Senate . Not surprisingly, the report recommends the introduction of a "broad, flexible, technology neutral" fair use exception to copyright infringement. This would allow the use of copyrights without the permission of the copyright owner and without remuneration if the use was "fair". If the government accepts the report and implements its recommendations it will be up to the courts to decide whether a use is fair taking into account "fairness factors" and "illustrative purposes".

AMPAL, as well as the rest of the creative community, have argued that "fair use" will not generate certainty and will undermine copyright owners rights.

The report is available here: http://www.alrc.gov.au/publications/copyright-report-122. The Report also contains other recommendations including changes to the statutory licensing provisions (though much less radical than was proposed in their discussion paper) and orphan works provisions.

 The non-exhaustive list of fairness factors recommended in the report are:

(a) the purpose and character of the use;

(b) the nature of the copyright material;

(c) the amount and substantiality of the part used; and

(d) the effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyright material.

The non-exhaustive list of illustrative purposes would include the following:

(a) research or study;

(b) criticism or review;

(c) parody or satire;

(d) reporting news;

(e) professional advice;

(f) quotation;

(g) non-commercial private use;

(h) incidental or technical use;

(i) library or archive use; 22 Copyright and the Digital Economy (j) education; and

(k) access for people with disability.  

The speech given by the Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis, can be found here: http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;db=CHAMBER;id=chamber%2Fhansards%2F3a096643-5fb5-4e1c-b836-ba367789757f%2F0201;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fhansards%2F3a096643-5fb5-4e1c-b836-ba367789757f%2F0000%22

Posted
AuthorJeremy Fabinyi
CategoriesCurrent